Bill Walton

1984 - Bill Walton – inducted in UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame

Bill Walton was a star center for the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team from 1972 to 1974. He played under coach John Wooden and was part of two NCAA championship teams, in 1972 and 1973. He also led the Bruins to an 88-game winning streak, which ended in 1974 with a loss to Notre Dame.

Walton was a dominant player who averaged 20.3 points and 15.7 rebounds per game in his college career. He was a three-time consensus All-American, a three-time national player of the year, and a three-time Academic All-American. He also won the Naismith Award and the Wooden Award in 19743.

Walton graduated from UCLA with a degree in history and was the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. He had a successful but injury-plagued professional career, winning two NBA titles, one with Portland in 1977 and one with Boston in 1986. He was also the NBA MVP in 1978 and the NBA Finals MVP in 1977.

Walton is widely regarded as one of the greatest college basketball players of all time and one of the best passing big men in NBA history. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1993 and as a member of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team in 2010. He is also a charter member of the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame, inducted in 1984.